Dearne writer’s sitcom enjoys second series

Promotional shot from Up North, a sitcom wrtten by Bolton-upon-Dearne actor Dean Sills.

An award-winning sitcom which has been written by a Doncaster actor is being shown on a local TV station.

Up North has been penned by Bolton-upon-Dearne actor and first-time writer Dean Sills, who also fills one of the lead roles in a tale of two neighbours and their outlandish exploits across the region.

Dean said: “I am proud of where I live and people do love ‘Up North’ because it shows it’s not all bad news coming from the Dearne area where I live.

“I feel we needed to show people who are wanting to achieve their dreams with little money that they can do anything.

“The local landlady Barbara Cassell of the Collingwood Pub in Bolton-upon-Dearne even lets us film in her pub for free. We have got all our locations for free, including filming at Barnsley Football Club who I support.

“It’s a low budget show but we now have a cult following and big names in series two including Billy Pearce and Bernie Clifton.

“We use all local actors from Wombwell and Sheffield. Steve Call, the director, also plays a role in the show as a one eyed taxi driver called Patch and Billy Pearce plays his uncle.

“The inspiration behind each of the episodes was just how Yorkshire folk live. Some ideas are based on true events, like my character Mick Smith loves eating pies because someone I worked with in the past just loved eating pies.

“It didn’t take long to write. For series two it took me about a week to write each episode because they are longer.

Dean, who has lived and worked in the Dearne all his life, began acting in 2012, but this is the first time he has written a role for himself.

His career has already seen him rub shoulders with some stars of the small screen. In 2014, he was given a small speaking role in BBC drama In The Club and spent the day working with household name Will Mellor. He has also appeared in ITV soap Emmerdale, taking on various supporting roles.

The comedy’s first series was originally commissioned by southerners - Essex TV picked it up and commissioned a complete run of episodes that pulled in 100,000 viewers. It was one of the top five watched shows on the channel and also won an award.

Up North is currently being shown on Sheffield Live on Monday at 9.30pm. The episodes are called Wildlife Up North, Golfing Up North, Dating Up North, Bonfire Up North and Another Christmas Up North. The festive episode will be aired on Christmas Day.

Dean is already planning for a third series and is even working on a script for a film.

He added: “I would also love to do a film version of Up North if we can get a budget to film it.”

You can watch the second series of Up North online at htwww.web.sheffieldlive.org/show/tv-schedule site. The first series is now available to buy on DVD or watch on demand via Amazon. For more information, search ‘Up North’ on Facebook.

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